Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Mile High City

We decided to fly to Denver from Boston to break up our flight and so we didn't spend too many consecutive hours sitting on a plane. We also wanted to see the Rockies. Denever was beautiful and sunny and if you didn't go outside you wouldn't realize that it was below freezing at 26 degrees F. We are heading home to temperatures in the high 80s so we'll have climate shock when we get home. We found a lovely little bakery for breakfast and I ordered scrambled eggs without the eggs as they they came with fresh fruit, toast and a bacon, tomato and avocado mixture. It was delicious! I still haven't tried pumpkin pie or brownies but it looks like they'll have to wait for my next trip. We had a lovely view of the Rockies while we flew to LA this afternoon and now we're waiting at LAX for our flight home via Auckland.
We're both a little sad that our adventure is almost over but we're looking forward to seeing our families and friends again. The US has been a wonderful travel experience for us and we will return again.
Hugs Jan Mac

The Boston Freedom Trail

We stayed at the radisson in Boston and had a wonderful view of the city. The weather was sunny but very cold with temperatures of 32 degrees F. We decided to stick with our daily schedule of leaving the hotel at 9am and walking until 6pm but the wind was so cold that we stopped off at an indoor market for lunch and to shop. Then as we were still cold we stopped in at the Cheers bar. We did however manage to see most of the Freedom Trail and get our history lesson for the day. We walked across the Boston Commons and watched some ice skaters and also visited Paul Revere's house which is now a museum and also the Granary cemetery where the graves date back to the mid 1600s. Amazing to think that the dates of the deaths pre-dated the discovery of Australia. We really loved Boston and wished we had more time to explore- oh and that the weather was warmer while we did. Nevermind we saw as much as possible and hardly shopped at all.
Off to Denver next for an overnight stop on our way home.
Hugs Jan Mac

New England Quilt Museum

The New England Quilt Museum was well worth a visit as they had a blue and white exhibition of antique quilts as well as a contemporary exhibition by African American quilters. We spent quite a bit of time admiring the very fine applique and quilting stitches on the antique quilts and then the vibrant colours and art quilts with a theme of woman's work.
They all told a story about the women's inspiration for their quiltmaking and used many varied techniques with a lot of embellishments with shells and beads.
We also managed to finally find a supermarket so we could buy some freezer paper for applique as it is very hard to get at home and very cheap to buy it by the roll in the US. Then we had more shuffling of the various bags to fit it all in again. It was well worth the planning and all the walking to reach the museum and spend some time seeing the town with quaint cobblestones on the roads.
More to come.
Cheers, Jan Mac

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Niagara Falls to Boston

We took the train from New York to Niagara Falls so we could see more of the countryside while we traveled. We arrived just on dark and stayed on the Canadian side of the Falls as that gave us the best view. Our hotel room overlooked the falls and they did look spectacular with the floodlights on them.
We wanted to fly from there to Boston which was difficult without a car so we took a limo ride to the airport at Buffalo. That was a smart decision as it was raining quite heavily for the first time on our trip and being picked up at the hotel and dropped off at the airport was made very easy by hiring our own limo. The driver even made the process of re-entering the US very easy and we didn't even have to leave the limo.
Our flight to Boston went via Baltimore and we are now here for three nights and sadly the Great Race is almost at an end. Today we took a train ride to Lowell to visit the New England Quilt Museum. Lowell is a very pretty little town and we really enjoyed our visit. Thanks to using Google Maps for our research it was easy to find our way to the museum from the train station. The Christmas lights have been set up in the town and the streets were cobbled near the museum so it was a lovely place to spend the day.
I also forgot to show the photo of the Soup Nazi shop, of Seinfeld fame, we saw in New York. It was quite crowded so there must have been lots of tourists checking it out.
More to come soon.

Monday, November 22, 2010

New York on the Run

We finished our last two days as we started, on the run to fit as many things in as possible. We extended our stay by one night so we had to move hotels as ours was fully booked for the Saturday. That actually worked in our favour as we found a smaller hotel at a better rate and closer to Penn Station.
On our second last day there we saw Ground Zero, took a boat ride out to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, walked to the Empire State building and then walked back to Times Square and saw another show that night.
On Saturday we moved hotels, walked through part of Central Park, and saw the American folk Art Museums where they had exhibtions of antique quilts. Luckily I'd done my research before we left home as they were showing the Bird of Paradise quilt which I am currently making. Corliss from Threadbear in Castlemaine has made a pattern based on this quilt and it's called The Civil War Bride quilt. It was wonderful to see the quilt top hanging in the gallery.
If you look carefully you can see a photo of it in the distance. The top was never quilted and it has more green than the more recent version but it was one of many lovely quilts we saw.
We left New York for Niagara Falls and were happy that we had made every moment count while there. Off again to sight see now.
Hugs Jan

Saturday, November 20, 2010

New York, New York

We're still in New York and took an on/off bus tour yesterday. The sights were good but we were freezing. I borrowed Julie's hat and tried to buy her gloves off her too but she declined. LOL
It was an easy way to cover a lot of distance but boy was it cold. In fact it was so cold that I had to have a cosmopolitan and Julie had a martini to warm us up. One wasn't enough but as we had another Broadway Show to see we had to survive on just the one drink- oh and the one we had before we took the evening bus tour!
The show we saw last night was the romantic comedy Promises, Promises, starring Sean Hayes from Will and Grace. It was very funny and well worht lining up in the cold for an hour to get tickets.
Today we are off to see a lot of places such as Ground Zero, Statute of Liberty and the Empire state building. We're also going to visit the American folk art museum as they have a quilt exhibition. We love the museums here but haven't yet ventured inside the museum shown in the photo here. Julie was keen but I'm not sure we'll have time and what would you see in a sex museum anyway?
Time to hit the pavement again and see as much as possible and probably another Show tonight. It's a hard life but someone has to do it.
More to come, Jan mac

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Liberty Bell

We stayed in the old part of Philly for a day while we saw the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall and of course more autumn leaves. The buildings are of beautiful red brick and the whole area of the old city is lovely with many impressive buildings and parks. We caught the train from Philly to new York and arrived here at lunchtime yesterday.
So far we've been to see 3 Broadway shows - Billy Elliott, Mary Poppins at a matinee today and we're just on our way home from seeing The Lion King. What can I say- we love New York and are currently sitting in a Starbucks on the internet and drinking hot chocolate.
There were several streets blocked off and many police in evidence but we don't know why. We feel very safe here and the city never sleeps. One thing we have found is that the traffic lights for pedestrian crossings are just a suggestion as many cross the street when the lights are on red, particularly if the traffic isn't able to move. We used to wait for the lights but have found that we're crossing when the others do regardless. Even the police don't seem to be bothered by the lights and I keep telling Julie that they are just a suggestion!
We are going to do some more sightseeing again tomorrow and spent today just wandering around and found ourselves in the garment and fabric part of New York. We seem to have a homing device for fabric.
The last photo shows a cute little Italian restaurant we found in Philly and we are looking for one like it in new York. So far we've been eating in Diners and enjoying it but still ordering small serves as we really can't each eat a pound of meat at a sitting.
We've loved the Shows we've seen and plan to go to another one tomorrow night. We've been lining up for cheap seats at the Times Square ticket office.
Time to go and get ready for another big day of walking and sightseeing. We walk for blocks and just enjoy seeing the sights.
Cheers, Jan Mac

Four Days in Philly

We arrived in New York yesterday after spending 4 days in Philadelphia with two friends from one of my internet groups. It was a wonderful experie3nce and they took us around the sights. The first day we went to the Hershey factory and to some Mennonite quilt shops, and then the following day we visited Valley Forge. There we saw a re-enactment of the English military drills and also took a tour around the sights. We saw a covered bridge and also had our photo taken with the soliders. As you can see I've also been busily taking photos of autumn leaves. I've never taken so many photos of fall leaves but they are really pretty and we are lucky that they are still very evident here as we expected much colder weather. The quilt photo is of a sleigh quilt from the 1840s which my internet friend showed us from her collection. We also tried many differnet foods such as bagels with cream cheese and a pastrami and cheese sandwich on rye.
Still having a ball over here.
hugs Jan Mac

Monday, November 15, 2010

DAR Museum

We visited the Daughters of the American Revolution Museum and saw some fabulous quilts and also rooms decorated in the different time periods. All of this was free and I would visit every week if I lived in DC, just to see the beautiful quilts which they keep under glass. I must return!!
Hugs Jan Mac

Foggy Bottom Adventures Again

We were in DC for memorial day and visited the Lincoln Memorial, the Reflection Pool and the Wall for the Vietnam Casualties. There were many families out enjoying the day in the parks, after paying their respects for the Vets. We also visited the Air and Space Museum. All of the museums were free and very interesting.
Probably the best we saw was the exhibition at the Art Museum where we saw paintings by Monet, Cezanne, Renoir Van Gogh and so on. They were fantastic and were free to view. I would be there all the time if I lived in DC. We also saw Fonzie's jacket and the red shoes from the Wizard of Oz. More later.
Hugs, Jan Mac

Hello From Foggy Bottom

We had a wonderful four days in Washington DC, staying at a very nice hotel at Foggy Bottom. We took an on-off bus tour which allowed us to see the main sights out of the downtown area. We also walked our legs off for 3 days and left the hotel at 9am and walked non-stop until 6pm every day.
We saw the White House and visted most of the Smithsonian Museums as well as the Holocaust Museum. The first photo is of a wood carved grandfather clock at the Renwick gallery. The clock appears to have a dust sheet over it but it's all carved wood and the part which is the dust sheet has been bleached. It was hard to believe that it was all made if wood. The second photo is of a silk weaving at the Renwick Gallery. Then a photo of us on the train, then the beautiful autumn leaves were out on all the trees, which we enjoyed on our long walks.
More to come. Hugs Jan Mac

Friday, November 12, 2010

More Quilts From Houston Festival

There were many beautiful quilts and also the chance to chat with other quilters. The first quilt was made by African American quilters to demonstrate the clues in the quilts used by the underground railway to help slaves escape to Canada in the 1860s. She was able to describe them to me, as passed down in her family.
Another lovely quilter with a story to tell.
More to come.Jan Mac